Monday, February 4, 2013

Baking Therapy: Dark Chocolate Almond Mocha Geo Cookies!




Well yesterday’s game was not the ending I would’ve hoped for. Was it upsetting, disappointing, frustrating, and down right gut wrenching, yah! It was! A game we’ve comeback from at one point a 22 point deficit, one touchdown away, and should’ve won but we didn’t, there are no words for this. I can probably go on for a while about this but I’ll stop myself there. Despite my unstable state of emotions right now, we cannot deny that we had a great season. We’ve come far in the last 2 seasons, it’s only going to get better, and I have faith this is only the beginning of greatness. I know next season we’ll be better, stronger, and prepared, and we will make history again! My Niners will be back – have no doubt – the drive to win it will be that much greater. I am, of course, by no means accepting this lost, it will continue to sting for A WHILE...even words of encouragement won’t take that away, it’s too soon.


This calls for comfort. Whether I need to run a mile, watch Finding Nemo three times over or go make a mess in the kitchen, something needs to happen. Since this is no small wound, I’ll probably end up doing all three. Okay so maybe not watch Finding Nemo three times, we’ll throw in Up and Toy Story 3 or something like that, but you get the point.

Therefore I’d like to deem this baking experiment a kitchen therapy session. I’m not one for eating comfort foods as much as comfort in cooking and baking the foods themselves. It’s the motion of being able to feel accomplished and watching other people find joy in my cooking that I like. I believe the best form of comfort is being able to enjoy the joys of life through others from something you have done and of course laughter (hence the feel good Disney movies marathon).


This recipe is a play and adaptation from a recipe I had found online (Mexican Chocolate Earthquake Cookies by SpoonForkBacon) and is perfect because it’ll help me use up the leftover ingredients I had from when I played with making my ChocolateRaspberry Torte. Though the original recipe is intriguing, I’m afraid I’m not quite bold enough to try it out yet. Mostly because I give away most of my baked goods and I know there are a lot of people out there that can’t handle their spice…ahem** so I decided to cut those out and only keep the cinnamon part. Since I’m also trying to use up ingredients and not buy more, I decided to cut out the Mexican chocolate part as well and just replace that with the regular stuff. Of course, I thought I had baking powder…in which I did not but a quick Google search solved that problem (2 part cream of tartar + 1 part baking soda i.e. 2tsp cream of tarter + 1 tsp baking soda). In addition I’ve put my own slight twist in that I’m dipping the cookies in chocolate and then coating that with sliced almonds for an added crunch. I love a good crunch. 
With all those changes, a new name is in order. I liked the idea of “earthquake” but the name I came up with is long enough already so I decided on Geo Cookies instead, catchy no?

  

Makes Approximately 3 dozens
Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips (68% or higher)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup black coffee
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
Sugar coating:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3cup powdered sugar
Chocolate coating:
  • 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
  •  ½ cup sliced almonds

Procedures:
    1. In a double boiler over medium heat melt chocolates and butter together until smooth. Stir in coffee and cinnamon and stir until fully incorporated. Set aside and allow chocolate mixture to cool slightly.
Side note: I used a blender for steps 2 and 3 which for the most part works fine until its get a bit too thick and then I just hand mixed the rest of it.
    1. While chocolate mixture melts, combine almond meal, flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
      Place the eggs and sugar into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer and mix until the mixture has thickened and become a pale yellow color, 5 to 6 minutes.
    2. With the motor running, begin pouring the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, in a slow and steady stream (to prevent curdling) until fully incorporated.
    3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap
    4. Allow mixture to chill for at least 3 hours before using.
      Once mixture has chilled, use a cookie scooper to scoop out 1 tablespoon sized balls.
    5. Quickly roll them in the granulated sugar, followed by the powdered sugar until fully covered and place the on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart, the cookies will spread (Tip: try to handle the “cookie dough” as little as possible and with cold hands, as they have a similar consistency to ganache and will melt in your hands quickly)
    6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
    7. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until the cookies have spread, leaving a fun “earthquake” effect on the tops of the cookies. Allow the cookies to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. They should be slightly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. 
For Chocolate coating:
1.       In a double boiler over medium heat melt chocolates until smooth. Spoon warm chocolate over cookies and let it drip off the edges and sprinkle on almonds. Place on a flat surface for chocolate to hard. Putting it in freezer for a few minutes will speed up the process.

Slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, this cookie is just what I needed to bring my spirits up. It bares just a hint of cinnamon and the crunch from the almonds is a perfect addition to the soft center. Dark chocolate paired with light powder sugar to oppose the rich chocolate with a bit of sweetness that's not overpowering. A chocolate lover's must have!

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